EuroCRIS Members MeetingVienna, 1-2 November 2007Workshop on RTD Information Systems in Western BalkansAn OverviewProf.dr.Boris CizeljSlovenian Business & Research Association, Brussels
Reports received • Serbia – by Pero ŠIPKA, University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Philosophy and Centre for Evaluation in Education and Science; • Bosnia and Herzegovina – by Mrs.Edina FAZLAGIĆ, Parliamentary Assembly of BiH and Electronic Consortium of BiH; • Albania - by Gjegji GJINKO & Eriola TONA, Ministry of Education and Science, and ISD; • FYR Macedonia - by Bardhyl Jashari, Metamorphosis Foundation, Skopje
Some Common Observations • Countries of the region face great difficulties in RTD sphere (serious underfunding, brain-drain, limited industry-academia collaboration, limited international cooperation); • The RTD sphere has not changed much during Transition (legal status, system of public funding, modus operandi), role of government is predominant, and the system does not correspond to a modern, market-driven, Knowledge Society model (neither in EU-15). • Access to FP7 and other EU RTD programmes offer unprecedented possibilities of participation, however many bottlenecks are to be eliminated, including information on RTD capabilities; -- Participation in 6FP has been in most cases modest, but with 7FP it tends to increase (specially in Croatia and Serbia) – FP6 success rates for 5 countries between 16.3-18.7% (fin.result 9.9-19.7%) while for EU-25 between 15.4-24.6%.
RTD Information Systems needed urgently • The emphasis in RTD Information area is on securing access to international bibliographical services, and on-line registration of research personnel and publications; • Governments gradually aware of the strategic importance of becoming part of Information Society and encouraging participation in EU RTD Programmes (though still not providing support to proposers). Great gap between general policy declarations, and effective measures and monitoring of their impact. • Countries of the region enjoy in EU countries modest image in terms of RTD capabilities – an effective information system could strongly improve the situation.
How to develop an effective RTD Information System? (1) • Under pressure of many other problems in the countries of the WB region, this task cannot expect to receive high priority in the national agendas, while it is a national project by its very nature. • A possible solution is an initiative from EU, and a pilot, feasibility study to be coordinated and funded from EU. • Even under these conditions, the critical element is political will on the part of authorities who would need to secure the basic conditions of the System (use of several data bases, some staff to process the data, and some funding of other costs).
How to develop an effective RTD Information System? (2) • First step: identify a person with adequate qualifications, experience and credibility in the country, to start the initiative. • Very quickly this person will have to create a national Task Force to provide backing and guidance to the project. • If the project would be part of a EU project, the chances of successfull take-off will be incomparably bigger than otherwise. • Involving in the Task Force representatives of: • Ministry of Science and Education, as well as other relevant line ministries (economy, technology, culture, promotion office) • Research community • Business associations, particularly research-intensive clusters, science parks, etc.
How to develop an effective RTD Information System? (3) • Who could persuade the European Commission to fund such a project? • EuroCRIS, ZSI with its SEE ERA NET activities, as well as SBRA and other SYCP partner could be the promoters for such an initiative, while ministries of the Western Balkan countries should express their strong interest for it, and endorse a proposal. • Perhaps it could be a pilot project of 12 months, which would produce the operational project outline with all implementation details. SBRA willing to participate in such an initiative.
WB RTD Info System – supporting your position in ERA • The colleagues are invited to present in more detail their own situation, and comment the initial ideas how to tackle productively the problem of RTD information systems in order to support the countries’ fuller participation in the European Research Area. • My appreciation of the Zentrum für Sociale Innovation – and Ms.Elke Dall in particular - for bringing us together, and for all its valuable work in support of countries of the WB Region. • Perhaps we should create a little Task Force to follow up the initiative. There could be several potential supporters: EC, Slovenian Development Assistance, Bilateral Donnors